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Who are the Bevin Boys?

  • When Britain declared war in 1939, thousands of experienced miners left the mines to join the armed services or transfer to higher-paid "war industries".
  • By the summer of 1943 more than 36,000 men had left the coal industry and the Government decided it needed around 40,000 men to take their places.
  • Labour and National Service Minister Ernest Bevin devised a scheme whereby a ballot put a proportion of conscripts into the collieries rather than the armed services.
  • Alongside the ballotees were also men who volunteered for service in the coal mines rather than military.
  • Between 1943 and 1948, 48,000 young men were conscripted for National Service Employment in British coal mines - they were known as the Bevin Boys.
  • It is thought around 5,000 miners lost their lives during the war.

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Wartime miners' memorial to be unveiled

A memorial will be dedicated to the Bevin Boys. Credit: PA Wire

A memorial will be dedicated to thousands of men, known as the Bevin Boys, who worked in British coal mines during the Second World War.

The memorial at the National Arboretum, Staffordshire, is designed by Harry Parkes, a former Bevin Boy, and features four blocks of Kilkenny limestone.

One features an engraving of the emblem of the Memorial Campaign along with the words: "We also served 1943 - 1948".

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Thousands march to save Stafford Hospital

Protesters say they fear the cuts will lead to losses of life and will put other local hospitals under strain

Thousands of people have taken to the streets in Stafford to protest over threatened cutbacks to acute services at Stafford Hospital. Protesters say they fear the cuts will lead to losses of life and will put other local hospitals under strain.

The Market Square was filled with thousands protesters

Protesters filled the Market Square and many surrounding streets, they marched to the hospital approximately one mile away.

For years Stafford has faced criticism over poor standards of care, which has been blamed for hundreds of patient deaths.

Marchers say that lives will be put at risk if the hospital loses some of its services

But marchers say the hospital has greatly improved and the threat of acute services being moved elsewhere will leave people in the town in danger.

Stafford Hospital can be seen with thousands of protesters gathered in the grounds

The hospital is currently in special administration the administrators say they are aware of the strength of feeling locally and are setting up public meetings to hear people's views.

Thousands gathered at Stafford Hospital as part of a march to save Stafford Hospital hospital
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Thousands gather for Stafford Hospital march

Thousands gathering in the centre of Stafford Credit: ITV News Central

Thousands of local people have arrived in Stafford today to march in support of Stafford Hospital.

The march starts from Stafford Market square at 14:30. It has been organised by a community group, with the support of local MPs and Stafford Borough Council.

People of all ages gather in support of Stafford Hospital Credit: ITV News Central

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Memorial to honour British servicemen and women

Name engraving for British servicemen and servicewomen who were killed in 2012 will begin at the Staffordshire Memorial Arboretum today.

Engraver Nick Hindle will begin the task of engraving the names of 43 army personnel, five Royal Marines and five RAF personnel.

Nick Hindle engraving names at the Staffordshire Memorial Arboretum in 2010

Mr Hindle will be there for the next month as he engraves the names, which will be read out and dedicated in a special service for families later in the year.

There are already 16,000 names on the memorial.

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Million pound watch features tiny micro-sculpture

A wristwatch estimated to be worth one million pounds is going on display in the Midlands. Credit: Staffordshire university

A wristwatch estimated to be worth one million pounds is going on display in the Midlands.

What makes the watch so unique is the tiny micro-sculpture built into its design.

The sculpture itself is so small, it can only be seen under a microscope.

The watch features a micro-sculpture which can only be viewed under a microscope Credit: Staffordshire university

A special set of lenses have been added to the watch to make it visible.

Local Birmingham artist Willard Wigan was commissioned to create the sculpture.

The watch will go on display at Staffordshire University this weekend for the first time, alongside more of Willard's micro-sculptures- some so small they fit onto a pin head.

The watch will go on display this weekend Credit: Staffordshire university

Hospital investigating after dummy taped to baby's face

It became the most notorious hospital in Britain for its maltreatment of patients depriving some of food, water and proper care.

But now, countless promises of change later, a baby boy has been found at Mid Staffordshire Hospital with a dummy taped to his face. Police are investigating.

From the hospital ITV News Correspondent Rupert Evelyn reports:

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